In the previous three World Cups this year, India have returned with the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event. Saurabh Chaudhary has won two while Abhishek Verma has one to his name.
On Thursday, Verma gave India their fourth gold medal in four World Cups by finish at the top in the ongoing Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Rio de Janerio. Chaudhary wasn’t far behind and finished with a bronze medal as India finished with three medals on day two of the Rio World Cup.
In the final, Verma shot 244.2 while Chaudhary finished at 221.9 for his bronze. The silver medal went to Turkey’s Ismail Keles, who scored 243.1.
This is Chaudhary’s sixth ISSF world cup medal of the year and only his first bronze to go with a phenomenal five golds.
Both Verma and Chaudhary had secured the two quotas available per country in this event by securing them in previous qualifying events.
In the qualifications, Chaudhary was fourth with 584 points and Verma entered the finals in fifth position with 582 points.
In a top quality finals field featuring the likes of former Olympic and World Champion Pang Wei of China, besides multiple world cup and world championship medalists like Omelchuk, Serbian Damir Mikec and Turkish Yusuf Dikec, Verma was second only till the first series of five shots.
He went into the lead from the 12th shot, which is also the first elimination shot of the 24-shot final and never looked back, fending of the challenge of Ismail Keles of Turkey with a sublime 10.7 for his final shot to settle the issue.
There was a bit of a flutter one could be forgiven for thinking, as a 9.6 for his 23rd shot helped the Turk go into the final shot just 0.1 behind. But any hopes that he might have harboured, was put to rest authoritatively by Abhishek’s finish. Keles managed only a 9.7 to finish with 243.1, a clear 1.1 behind the Indian.
With Sanjeev Rajput also winning silver and a Tokyo 2020 quota place on the day, India now tops the Rio world cup medals tally with two gold, one silver and one bronze for a total of four medals.